TEN BEST HOSTELS FOR BACKPACKERS AND BUDGET TRAVELLERS IN SINGAPORE



Singapore is an expensive city by anyone’s standards but if you are in town on a backpacker’s budget then fear not, it is possible to find cheap hostels in Singapore. In typical Singapore fashion, even backpacker hostels are high-tech, with modern amenities and plenty of freebies thrown in – complimentary breakfast, WI-FI, internet terminals and lounges with flatscreen TVs and Nintendo Wiis.

 

Traditionally, backpacker and affordable accommodation options are found clustered around the Little India and Chinatown areas. Both areas are good choices for budget travellers, with easy access by MRT (subway/underground), and cheap hawker centers and budget restaurants aplenty.

 

The most high-tech of Singapore’s hostels is undoubtedly Wink Hostel in Chinatown. Its unique pod design of dorm rooms are designed to optimize privacy, and are fitted with neon back-lights which are activated using a smart swipe card as guests enter the dorm room.  The nearby Matchbox the Concept Hostel follows suit with their pod-concept dorms.

 

Those travelling in couples or small groups and looking for more privacy should try the Hangout @ Mount Emily.  This trendy hostel has a selection of private rooms in doubles, triples, quads and quins in addition to its shared dorm rooms. Other popular hostels worth checking out include the funky boutique hostel Five Stones, the eco-friendly Tree In and family-run River City Inn.

 

For more of a party atmosphere, then the Prince of Wales pub and hostel is an old-time favorite with backpackers. Its hostel dorm rooms are set above a lively pub, which offers live music, pool tables, cheap beer and inexpensive Australian-style counter meals. The Rucksack Inn similarly encourages its guests to mingle and have fun. 



10
Clarke Quay

 

Chinatown, just a few minutes walk from the Chinatown MRT station. Accommodation is provided in 6, 8 and 12-bed mixed dorms, 6-bed female only dorm and 6 or 8-bed family rooms. Clean bathrooms with rain showers and complimentary toiletries, free WI-FI, complimentary breakfast and a self-service laundry all help make your stay more comfortable and convenient. The TV lounge is a good spot for chilling out and meeting your fellow guests, and free-to-use computers are available also. Two other Rucksack Inns are located at Hong Kong Street and Lavender Street respectively.


9
Pillows and Toast

 

Pillows & Toast is a basic but comfortable hostel located in the heart of Singapore's Chinatown, which as the name suggests, provides bed and breakfast. Choose from 8 or 10-bed mixed dorm or the 8-bed female-only dorm (note that the Female dorm has no windows). A cozy but spacious lounge in the loft spacious is ideal for chilling out or getting to know your fellow guests, and benefits from comfy seating (Including a massage chair), book and DVD collection, free use of laptops loaded with Skype. Free WI-FI is available throughout the hostel. A self-service laundry is provided, and a kitchenette with microwave and toaster. Pillows & Toast is just a 2-minute walk from Chinatown MRT station. A second branch, Pillows & Toast: Heritage has opened around the corner on Upper Cross Street and offers smaller 4, 6 and 8-bed dorms.


8
A Beary Good Hostel

 

A Beary Good Hostel, in the heart of Chinatown, provides a cosy and relaxed accommodation for backpackers and budget travellers in 10 and 12 bed dorm rooms. Complimentary tea, coffee and hot chocolate throughout the day, breakfast, WI-FI and use of computers, and local phone calls are all included in the price. Other facilities include a TV room with books, games and a Nintendo Wii; self-service laundry and ironing facilities, pantry facilities with microwave, toaster and fridge, and storage lockers. The hostel is located on Pagoda Street, one of the most popular streets in Singapore with tourists, famed for its beautiful heritage architecture and souvenir-laden street stalls. Additionally, with the Chinatown MRT station literally on the doorstep, getting here and sightseeing around other parts of Singapore is a cinch. Two other Beary Good Hostels are also located in Chinatown: Beary Nice! at Smith Street and Beary Best! on Upper Cross Street.


7

 

The Prince of Wales Backpacker hostel combines fun pub and backpacker hostel. The downstairs pub boasts live music, cheap beer and cocktails and affordable Australian bar meals, pool table and five big screen sports TVs. Upstairs, mixed dorms and three private rooms all offer air-conditioning, freeWI-Fi and claims to have the first anti-bed bug mattresses in any hostel in Asia. A free breakfast of fruit, tea/coffee, eggs, toast and marmalade/marmite is included in all rates. Other facilities include free lockers and a washing machine and dryer. The Prince of Wales is located in the busy nightlife area Boat Quay on the Singapore River, a short walk from both Clarke Quay and Raffles Place MRT stations. This makes it ideal for sightseeing and means there is an enormous choice of dining and entertainment options on the doorstep. A second branch of The Prince of Wales Backpacker hostel and pub is located in Little India.


6
Heritage District
Tree in Lodge

 

The Tree In Lodge was founded by two backpackers, and the lodge has been set up with the benefit of their global backpacking experience. The little touches this experience brings are evident throughout the hostel – each bed is has installed curtains for additional privacy; the toilet/shower to guest ratio is 1:5; free maps and information are provided, together with recommendations for off-the-beaten-track exploring; and a powerpoint is located beside each bed for charging electronic items. Additionally, guests benefit from free 24 hour internet access , free to use laptops, complimentary tea/coffee throughout the day and a free breakfast every morning. And all this for as little as $27 per day! Accommodation is available in six, twelve and sixteen-bed mixed dorms, with an additional female dorm with dedicated toilet and bathroom for solo female travellers. The Tree in Lodge also boasts several 'green' initiatives, such as green laundry service, energy efficient appliances, recycling points throughout and low-flow water restrictive devices in the kitchens and toilets. Note that this also means that air-conditioning is disabled from 12pm-6pm daily. As the Tree In Lodge is owned by cycling enthusiasts, special rates are given to globetrotting cyclists, with free storage for bicycles on offer.


5
Five Stones Hostel

 

This funky boutique hostel prides itself on being the first hostel in Singapore to offer themed rooms. Each room is designed by a local artist, with a specific Singapore cultural element in mind. Standard dorm rooms are available in 8, 10 or 14 bed mixed dorms, with deluxe 6 bed mixed and female-only dorm rooms also on offer. Those travelling in a couple and looking for more privacy can check into one of two private double rooms. All rooms are air-conditioned and include security lockers and individual reading lights. Free WI-FI is available throughout the hostel, with desktop PCs with headsets and scanners also on offer. The hostel lounge boasts a 40" flatscreen TV, with Nintendo Wii and a choice of DVDs, and a selection of games and books. A pantry area provides tea and coffee throughout the day, together with a water dispenser, toaster and microwave. Five Stones Hostel is located just a few minutes walk from Clarke Quay MRT station, with a wide choice of dining and entertainment options in the vicinity.


4

 

The River City Inn is a family-owned and operated hostel and its reputation for friendly staff has helped make this one of the most popular hostels in Singapore. Beds are available in the 26-bed mixed dorm, 9-bed female only dorm, a six-bed mixed dorm and also a private 4-bed room. From as little as $26 per day, guests can benefit from free WI-FI, use of computers, complimentary breakfast and free luggage storage. Laundry facilities are also available. The River City Inn is just a five-minute walk from Clarke Quay MRT station and the Singapore River, while Chinatown is just a ten-minute walk away. This makes it an ideal location for both sightseeing and dining and entertainment options. Note that the River City Inn is located on the fourth floor of a heritage building and therefore no lift is installed.


3
Matchbox The Concept Hostel

 

Matchbox the Concept Hostel offers funky and high-tech hostel accommodation in the form of pods within a 16-bed mixed dorm or 12-bed Ladies dorm. Each pod benefits from an individual reading light, power socket and clothes rail, while individual lockers and an ipod dock are provided in each room. The Ladies dorm additionally boasts beauty and skincare amenities, hair straighteners and curling tongs and even emery boards and eyelash curlers! Complimentary all-day breakfast, free-flow tea and coffee, WI-FI internet access, use of computers, local telephone calls, use of foot and back massager and use of toiletries are all included in the price. A 'designer loft' with beanbags, TV and DVDs is perfect for chilling out and meeting fellow guests. Matchbox is located on Ann Siang Road, round the corner from Club Street, one of the most popular nightlife streets in Singapore, filled with cozy wine bars, fashion boutiques and restaurants. It is also located across the road from Maxwell Road Food Center, one of the best hawker centers in Singapore and a short walk from the rest of Chinatown.


2

 

The Hangout at Mt. Emily is one of Singapore's most popular budget accommodation options. This trendy hostel is in the ideal location between budget Little India and glitzy Orchard Road, and provides hip, modern accommodation for the budget conscious traveller, with a choice of single or shared air-conditioned rooms with ensuite bathrooms. 'Zonk Out' shared rooms are available as 'Gals only', 'Guys only' or unisex, while private rooms are available in doubles, triples, quads or quins. Common facilities include the 'Veg out' lounge, featuring a television, magazines and pool table, along with complimentary tea and coffee, plus a microwave, while six PCs and free wi-fi makes staying in touch with loved ones easy. The Patio and Rooftop Terrace allow for al-fresco lounging. Other useful facilities include a laundry room and ironing facilities, and luggage storage lockers.


1
Wink Hostel
Photo courtesy of Wink Hostel


 

Wink Hostel sets itself apart from all other hostels by its unique pod design of dorm rooms. These neon-lit pods are available in single or double and are designed to optimize privacy and minimize light disturbance from fellow guests in the room. Each spacious pod comes with a 6" anti-dust mite orthopedic mattress, back rest, side-ledge and hook and adjustable reading LED light. A locker underneath each pod provides storage for personal items and luggage. Wink Hostel prides itself on its high-tech credentials. Smart swipe cards provide entrance to 'dorms' and personal lockers, and the same card illuminates a guest's pod to enable them to find their way in the dark and ensure minimal disturbance to other guests. Free wifi is available throughout the hostel and the internet station includes free use of 6 laptops, while the entertainment lounge boasts a flat-screen 3D television with surround sound and a choice of DVDs. Other facilities include a communal kitchen with microwave and laundry room. Wink Hostel is located in the middle of Chinatown, just a two minute walk from Chinatown MRT station.


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Meet Marianne Rogerson

Marianne is a freelance travel writer, who has lived in Singapore for six years. She is the author of a travel guidebook to Singapore and has written about Singapore for a range of...  More About Marianne

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